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Ground Source Heating and Cooling

Category: Alternative Supply Systems, Energy Supply

Ground source heating and cooling, or geoexchange, is a technique that utilizes geothermal energy to heat or cool buildings, depending on the season. Ground temperatures are relatively consistent, varying on latitude rather than season. A series of underground pipes and water, a building can exchange the temperature from the ground to provide a baseline temperature that is cooler than the air in the summer and warmer than the outside air in the winter. This baseline temperature provided to the building reduces the energy needed to heat or cool the building to comfortable temperatures.

Benefits

  • Energy consumption can drop nearly 50% with the installation of a geothermal heating/cooling system. 
  • Geoexchange systems have a lifespan of 50+ years

Challenges

  • Climate and ground temperature can impede the efficiencies of a geoexchange system. 
  • Geoexchange systems require a large amount of land to drill wells. 
Geothermal Ground Source Heating and Cooling

Impacts

  • GHG Impact

    Enormous

    Energy consumption is greatly reduced for each building fitted with a geo-exhange system. 

  • Economic Impact

    Net Savings

    Larger projects can take 15+ years until there is a ROI. 

  • Feasibility

    A Big Lift

    Space, underground utilities, and funds necessary limit feasibility. 

  • Timeline

    10 years +

    Designs are site specific, capital intensive, and require many steps before implementation.

  • Maintenance

    Moderate

    Few moving parts once installed. 

  • Publicity

    That's pretty cool.